Google adds AI-infused sustainability tools to Google Maps Platform

Google is equipping developers with three environment APIs for the Google Maps Platform to help them create new sustainability tools.

The company made the announcement Wednesday at Google Next 2023 in San Francisco.

Saleem Van Groenou, product manager, environment APIs at Google, explained during a breakout session that the launch of the APIs is Google’s first step towards making Google Maps Platform “the leading destination for developers to access unique hyperlocal sustainability and climate data and insights.”

The three new APIs announced are Solar, Air quality and Pollen.

The goal of the Solar API, Google said, is to help solar companies give homeowners the information they need to make informed decisions about solar panel installation. It has two distinct functionalities: Building Insights and Data layers, which address solar viability and design of solar systems, respectively.

The Solar API surfaces building, rooftop, shading, and panel configuration data covering over 320 million buildings in 40 countries.

The Air Quality API gives companies access to air quality data, and the ability to visualize pollution via heatmaps and deliver pollutant details and recommendations to target audiences. 

Google says it combines information from government monitoring stations, low-cost sensors, meteorological data, satellites, land cover, and live traffic information so that it can provide information even when one data source is unavailable.

Google also introduced the Pollen API that provides localized pollen count data, heatmap visualizations, detailed plant allergen information, and actionable tips for allergy sufferers to limit exposure.

The API calculates the seasonality and daily number of pollen grains on a 1×1 km2 grid in over 65 countries worldwide, offering an up to 5-day pollen forecast encompassing 3 plant types and 15 species.

Finally, Google announced that Photorealistic 3D Tiles, first launched in experimental phase at Google IO in May, is moving into preview soon. This product offers a mesh model of the real world to create immersive 3D map experiences.

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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